AN EXCITING PLATFORM: THE ROAD TOWARDS INTEGRATION OF THE DUTCH MANUFACTURING CHAIN THROUGH MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS.
“A qualitative study into the question of how the Knowledge Sharing Center should organize its positioning and communication expressions in order to reach, enthuse and interest potential participants as optimally as possible.”
Renee van der Heijden showed interest at the Knowledge Sharing Center to come and work out her graduation assignment for the KSC. Of course we were very excited about that. Exactly what we were waiting for. At that time we could not yet see that we were going to meet a unique student. Knowledge, organizational capacity, the right drive and above all the right cooperation is what we have seen.
She produced a document that we can use as a KSC organization.
CONCLUSION: From this document.
“In this research, an answer was sought to the question: ‘How can the Knowledge Sharing Centre (KSC) best organize its positioning and marketing communication so that potential participants of the platform are optimally reached, enthused and interested in safeguarding and sharing their knowledge and ultimately interorganizational knowledge sharing arises?” To answer this research question, use was made of the literature: ‘Step-by-step plan for a sharp positioning’ by Riezebos and van der Grinten.
The results of the research into the internal environment first of all show that a number of internal improvements need to be made in order to get the positioning in the spotlight. It has been found that the organization mainly lacks structure, scoping and approach and that there are no financial resources to increase the motivation of the employees. In addition, the research into corporate identity has shown that the KSC wants to position itself as a ‘match-maker’ between companies and to be ‘the best-in-class’ by offering the latest technology and opening up knowledge. However, these core competencies do not fully correspond to the current representation of the organization in the minds of the target group. It has become apparent, for example, that the associations with unfamiliarity and lack of clarity, particularly with regard to positioning and proposition, are by far the most strongly linked to the organization and, according to the respondents, pose a threat to the KSC’s market position.
In order to improve this market position, it has become apparent that the KSC must create an accessible and extensive platform, containing a community based on equality and integrity. The results of the qualitative research have shown that the target group sees the values growth and an increase in efficiency and effectiveness as the most important values that contribute to the social needs. These social needs, which are also the motives for participation, come down to generating more business, increasing brand awareness, discovering new markets and making companies in the manufacturing industry chain jointly future-proof.
It is striking that the organization saw ASML and Arno Sprengers as negative associations. It has been found that these associations contribute in many positive ways to the brand awareness of the company and the willingness of the target group to participate. Apart from this, the results show that companies drop out when the added value of the platform is lacking compared to possible (high) access costs and/or when there is too little interest in the platform from other companies. For this reason, and in order to deal with the associations with unfamiliarity and ambiguity, it is a good strategy to provide potential participating companies with information and updates in the communication about the movements occurring in the platform and the future prospects of the company. .
The results of the communication survey have shown that the target group is currently not being reached and enthused by the current B2B communication of the KSC. The communication channels and means identified by the target group as the most effective ways to reach them are: face-to-face contact, LinkedIn and organizing and attending (networking) meetings, where a combination of online and face-to-face communication is desired. Marketing communication trends in the B2B market show that in order to increase brand awareness among the target group, it is important to continuously optimize the customer journey and customer experience. It has become apparent that this optimization must always take into account the emerging need for personal contact. Research into the developments in social media use in the B2B market also shows that 94% of B2B companies use LinkedIn and see the platform as the platform for B2B communication.
This qualitative research has shown that a positioning must be developed that is in line with the identity and qualities of the KSC, the wishes of the target group and the weaknesses of similar initiatives. To create this ‘match’, the most important values of the target group must be linked to one or more attributes with which the brand is positively associated by the target group. By emphasizing these attributes in the communication, the values – growth and efficiency and effectiveness – become relevant in the profiling of the brand. The next chapter, the recommendation, will therefore discuss the formulation of the positioning and the marketing communication expressions that have been designated by the target group as the most effective communication channels and means: personal contact, (network) meetings and LinkedIn.”
She managed to graduate through this assignment and obtained her bachelor’s degree in commercial economics.
We would also like to share the thesis with everyone. The KSC will use this document as a basis for taking further steps.